Plastome phylogenomics of Saussurea (Asteraceae: Cardueae)
Background: Saussurea DC. is one of the largest and most morphologically heterogeneous genera in Asteraceae. The relationships within Saussurea have been poorly resolved, probably due an early, rapid radiation. To examine plastome evolution and resolve backbone relationships within Saussurea, we sequenced the complete plastomes of 17 species representing all four subgenera.
Results: All Saussurea plastomes shared the gene content and structure of most Asteraceae plastomes. Molecular evolutionary analysis showed most of the plastid protein-coding genes have been under purifying selection. Phylogenomic analyses of 20 Saussurea plastomes that alternatively included nucleotide or amino acid sequences of all protein-coding genes, vs. the nucleotide sequence of the entire plastome, supported the monophyly of Saussurea and identified three clades within it. Three of the four traditional subgenera were recovered as paraphyletic. Seven plastome regions were identified as containing the highest nucleotide variability.ConclusionsOur analyses reveal both the structural conservatism and power of the plastome for resolving relationships in congeneric taxa. It is very likely that differences in topology among data sets is due primarily to differences in numbers of parsimony-informative characters. Our study demonstrates that the current taxonomy of Saussurea is likely based at least partly on convergent morphological character states. Greater taxon sampling will be necessary to explore character evolution and biogeography in the genus. Our results here provide helpful insight into which loci will provide the most phylogenetic signal in Saussurea and Cardueae.
Zhang, Xu, Tao Deng, Michael J. Moore, et al. 2019. "Plastome phylogenomics of Saussurea (Asteraceae: Cardueae)." BMC Plant Biology 19: 290.
BMC Plant Biology
Saussurea, Rapid radiations, Plastome, Genome, Phylogenomic analysis, Purifying selection